PS VR Aim Controller Could Be Sony’s Secret Weapon

by Ian Hamilton • June 14th, 2016

A hands-on demo of the forthcoming first-person shooter Farpoint at Sony’s E3 PlayStation VR conference included an integrated motion-tracked gun developed by Sony alongside the game.

While guns incorporating the PlayStation Move controllers already exist, they use multiple parts. The PS VR Aim Controller is a single integrated piece with a tracking sensor where the end of the barrel should be. It includes analog sticks near your thumbs, a trigger and an assortment of buttons at various easy-to-reach spots.

aim-controller-psvr

I went hands-on with the Aim Controller and Farpoint at E3. I found the input method and game make for an interesting solution to locomotion problems in VR. The accessory felt like a rigid (albeit light) two-handed gun in my hands and one of the analog sticks controlled movement both forward and backward. I found the gun accurate enough to mow down waves of aliens while also allowing me to move relatively freely around the world. Turning the gun left or right while walking moved me in that direction. I noted no discomfort.

“It really helps with the locomotion,” said Randy Nolta, co-founder of Farpoint creator Impulse Gear. “I feel like you are more grounded in the world.”

Nolta said a toggle should allow players to optionally enable the second analog stick. Without leaving a standing position, both sticks could allow people who don’t suffer from simulator sickness to move nearly as freely as they could with a traditional gamepad. The added benefit of aiming with a realistic-feeling gun means San Francisco-based Impulse Gear might have found a way to adapt first-person shooters to VR without introducing completely new gaming mechanics, like teleportation.

Farpoint doesn’t have a release date yet and there’s no price or release date for the PS VR Aim Controller either. Farpoint is the first game we’ve seen compatible with this gun controller, but it’s unlikely the last if Sony is serious about the accessory. Sony is shipping PlayStation VR in October with 50 games planned to release before the end of the year, and given the importance of successfully launching PS VR, it makes a lot of sense for this accessory to be ready to go sometime next year after the launch of the headset.

playstation-vr-gun

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  • Doctor Bambi

    Maybe this goes without saying, but does anyone know if the game will also be compatible with two move controllers? That’s sort of what I’d consider the default control scheme for most PSVR games. Based on the use of analog sticks, doesn’t seem like two Move controllers would be an option. Perhaps they will support the game pad as an alternative input method.
    The skeptic in me also wants to point out, while the gun peripheral will be great for aiming a gun, you have no hand tracking so I’m guessing any actions of activating/picking up/manipulating objects will be handled in a more traditional fashion. For example, press the X button to pick up extra ammo.

    • Good points regarding the skepticism. As for DS4 support, it seems to be included for Farpoint: https://twitter.com/ImpulseGear/status/743226414145507329?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

    • TheTRUTH23

      Yes you can use 2 move controllers at the same time or use you standard dualshock wireless ps4 controller. The gun will be out early 2017 hopefully Q1 & there are a few GLOVE controllers being developed that will give you full virtual hands including full fingers with all joints being registered. So making a fist, giving someone the finger or a thumbs up will all be within reach, pardon the pun, by the end of 2017 if all goes well. PS VR with its proce point, multiple controller options, PS Camera reading MORE locator points, 120fps instead of Vive and Rifts 90fps etc make the PS VR the BEST VR OPTION PERIOD! There are even talks of making the headset COMPUTER friendly down the road AFTER console launch! Playstation will own the VR market and wind up crushing the competition based on solid console readiness, user options and overall quality, especially with the price point on the console, headset, accessories all being better quality over the higher priced VIVE (which is amazing but will be beat by PS) & Rift with their $800 price points WITHOUT adding in the cost for a computer that can handle the VR tech. Everyone needs to beg borrow and steal their way into getting their hands on the PS VR as soon as they can! The FUTURE of GAMING is about to holodeck its way into our houses in just a few short WEEKS! OMG TO THE 99999999th POWERZILLLLLAAAA BOOMSHOCKALAKA!

      • Doctor Bambi

        Hahaha, well I appreciate the enthusiasm. One thing is for sure, PSVR is going to give a huge boost to the VR industry.
        Let’s get some things straight though. With it’s somewhat finicky tracking system (The Move camera was not designed with VR in mind, although it gets the job done), lower resolution screen (1080p vs 1200p), and lower refresh rate (most games will run at 60 fps and reproject up to 120, which is not the same thing as true 120), the PSVR is an inferior device to it’s older brothers, Vive and Rift, and that’s okay.
        If the Gear VR, limited to the power of a smartphone, can provide an amazing experience, there’s no doubt in my mind that PSVR will do the same and more.

  • Roger Bentley

    Wow that is unfortunate I had several friends that pre orderedthe PSVR and have sharpshooters and we were interested in this game now i dont think we will invest in it if we have to purchase another gun when the sharpshooter is basically the same thing with a gun stock and pump action for shot gun. i think we will all pass unless sharpshooter is supported this is a bad move considering my navigation and move controllers currently work with my PS4?????